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 Amasa Rice Converse

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Amasa Rice Converse

  • Birth 26 Mar 1842 Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 9 Jun 1885 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Three Rivers, St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
  • Plot Section Q
  • Memorial ID 85621988

Cheyenne Democratic Leader
Cheyenne, WY Territory
June 10, 1885
Pg 3
Obituary
Once more death has cast his shadow over this community, coming from afar. One of our old citizens, who came here among the first and has been with us ever since, has been called to his eternal home.
Mr. A. R. Converse, president of the First National Bank, died in the Fifth Avenue hotel, New York, early yesterday morning, after a lingering illness of two months. He had been confined to his rooms since April, suffering from a complication of diseases which ended in paralysis.
Although among strangers, he had all possible care and attendance; his noble, faithful wife has been at his beside day and night; like a ministering angel she has nursed and watched over him with unceasing care and devotion during his many days of sickness in the last fifteen years. Yet the end has come too soon, and today she mourns the loss of her loved one—a grief-stricken widow, now confined to a sick bed, worn out by over exertion and ceaseless care.
Mr. Hicks, assistant cashier of the First National bank, was also present at the final struggle, he having reached New York only a few hours before Mr. Converse's death, but not before he had lost consciousness. Mr. Hicks will accompany the remains to Three Rivers, Michigan, today, where the burial will take place until Mrs. Converse, remaining in New York, cared for by friends and relatives, will be able to travel to her former home in Michigan.
In Mr. Converse's death Cheyenne loses one of its foremost citizens, whose place it will be difficult to fill. His interests were so entirely interwoven with those of our people, that his death seems like a personal loss to all of us here. He came to Cheyenne in November 1867, and purchasing from J. H. Hall the adobe building at the corner of 16th and Hill Streets (the present site of the Inter Ocean Hotel), he engaged in the furniture and crockery business. After a very successful business career of five years, he formed a co-partnership with Mr. F. E. Warren, the business being carried on under the firm name of Converse and Warren. In March 1871, Mr. Converse, H. J. Rogers, and others organized the First National Bank of Cheyenne, and Mr. Converse was chosen president, which position he has held ever since. Retiring from the firm of Converse and Warren, he devoted his whole time thereafter to the banking business, in which has been more prosperous. He also invested largely of his means in cattle and ranches in this county, and today the Converse Cattle Company, of which he was president, is one of the wealthiest and most successful corporations in the territory.
To have his connection with our various money and cattle interests severed so suddenly by his death, is indeed a serious calamity to the people of Wyoming, nearly as great as is the loss of such a whole-soiled, enterprising and reliable citizen to the community.
The many friends of Mr. Converse extend to her in her great bereavement their heartfelt sympathy, trusting that "He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" will give her strength to bear up under her supreme sorrow and enable her to return to her little daughter, Fannie, who yearns the more for the mother's love, having been so suddenly deprived of a father's love and protecting care.

June 21, 1885
…the following notice of the death of Mr. Converse is taken from the Berkshire County Eagle, published at Pittsfield, Mass., his native place…
Biography:
A.R. Converse, born in Mass in 1842, arrived in Cheyenne Nov 14 1867, and established the first house furnishing business here, taking FE Warren for a partner in 1873, and selling out to him in 1878.
In 1875 he engaged in stock raising on the Chugwater [Chugwater is N. of Cheyenne], and later organized the National Cattle Co., but sold his interest in 1884. He also organized the Converse Cattle Co, with a range on Lance Creek, 180 miles north of Cheyenne; capital stock $1,000,000.

He was one of the first Laramie County commissioners elected after the organization of the WY Territory, and from 1876 to 1880 was Territorial Treasurer. He was one of the most public-spirited citizens of Wyoming and assisted materially in building up Cheyenne.

POSTSCRIPT
Converse amassed a fortune through his residence in Cheyenne, WY during its early founding period. In 1870, he had assets of over $40,000 just in the crockery business alone. His investment in cattle ranching propelled his fortune as well as his formation of the First National Bank.

He served 2 terms as Territorial Treasurer. Converse Street in Cheyenne as well as Converse County, Wyoming are named after him.
A public school was erected in his name around 1892 in Cheyenne.

Unlike many Cheyenne capitalists of the time, Converse grew to prefer living away. For a limited time, he had a huge home there, but soon sold out. On his visits to Cheyenne after 1880 to look after his interests, he simply lodged at the best hotel.

Converse owned Pioneer Park in Cheyenne. It passed to his daughter, Fannie, who later sold it to the city.

At one time, Converse had 28 cattle brands.

The Converse home (118 E. 18th St.) was sold to Harry P. Hynds. It no longer exists. It was the largest home built by architect Rainsford with a winding staircase to the second floor. Each bedroom had a fireplace. The master bedroom had a gold basin and pitcher.
--submitted by Clint Black, Apr 2012


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In Loving Memory Of - Passed Into Eternal Life


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  • Created by: Rebecca Nielsen Drumm
  • Added: 24 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85621988
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Amasa Rice Converse (26 Mar 1842–9 Jun 1885), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85621988, citing Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Rebecca Nielsen Drumm (contributor 47105628) .